How far do they go?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chick nanny, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. chick nanny

    chick nanny Hatching

    We are letting our 23 chickens out for free range time but our property isn't fenced and is three acres. How far do chickens generally wander? They are a mixed flock of Buff Orpingtons, Australorps, Barred Rocks, RIRs and Ameracanas. They are 16 weeks old and not yet laying. So far, I have been sitting out with them and "herding" them a bit but worry about them wandering too far.


    Chick nanny
  2. maddog3355

    maddog3355 In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2014
    My experience with the breeds you have not very far. You want some romers get some leghorns.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    They wander just as far as they want to. I have 4+ acres of mixed open, woods, and gardens. My girls run directly across the street to visit my neighbor every chance they get. Now, they've decided to expand their horizons even further. When my husband came home the other day, half of them were marching down the middle of the road on their way to see the next neighbor down. Luckily, we live on a dead end road, but, even still... that's just a bit too far for my liking... time to keep them in.

    You'll have to experiment, and see how far they do wander. Depends a lot on the breed, age, and personality of the birds involved. Rooster? I think they tend to be more adventuresome if you have a roo. Start an hour or two before sunset, and add extra time as they prove themselves worthy.
    1 person likes this.
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I have six wooded acres and my flock lives out back. I have a hen house with an attached run. I only let mine out to free range after work at 5pm when I get home because they will wander out front and over to the neighbor's place. (She love's it--she just loves animals.)

    I would think that usually a chicken will stay with-in an acre. That's just a guess though. The only bad thing about chickens is that they will eat your neighbor's flowers and mess up their mulch. Mine have never done that....they only mess up my flowers and mulch, as far as I know! LOL
  5. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    I have 10 acres and they wander on about 3 of them. They do like to visit my neighbor's 10 acre parcel as well, but that's because they had a chicken coop at one time and they'd go visit the other chickens. Now that they are gone, they stay pretty close to home. I have BO's, RIR and an Ameracuana - all hens.
  6. sandesnow

    sandesnow Songster

    Nov 20, 2013
    Nova Scotia Canada

    I am glad my flock aren't the only ones that find the neighbors place better than the huge space they have in their own yard!

    We finally had to fence in our property because they were constantly on the road or crossing the road to the neighbors place.. or next door at our other neighbors.

    Suffice to say, unless you are out where there are no neighbors, they -will- be foraging at the neighbors house, no matter how many acres it seems we give them!
  7. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    No sure if the vegetation and topography would play any part. My small flock has a lawn of 50x100 and surrounding woods about 1 acre. From the coop, the nearest neighbor is 150 feet away as well as the street. I find that they mostly stay within about 100 feet radius. If there is reason such as crushed acorns down the driveway or earthworm after heavy rain, they would lose their heads and follow the snack trail as far as the 150 feet to the street. That is when I run out and rustle them back.

    Is your area dry and bare? Anyway, 3 acres is a lot [​IMG]. It is probably safe to experiment. If you don’t know for sure yet, keep a keen eye on predators (cars, dogs included).
  8. chick nanny

    chick nanny Hatching

    Thanks for all the input about how far they roam. We had a new grand baby girl born on Tueday so it has been a week away from the computer. The last two days, we let them out near sunset and they all stayed pretty close and just went to bed on their own. I think our best bet is to fence off the (busy) road, which is near their coop. The rest of the property is pretty safe and the topography is such that parts would just not appeal to chickens much anyway.

    My DH thinks i am absolutely nuts to be so crazy about the chickens (and they aren't even at my house but my son's!). It's so nice to know that I am not the only chicken-crazy person!
  9. rc4u

    rc4u Songster

    Feb 3, 2014
    at my one acre lot is next to a woods and feild ect...and my chickens only go as far as the food goes...some days they do go in front in the row of dogwoods to scratch..and then a couple mentally challanged ones get behind the fence at my corner and they squack till i go lead them back.jeff
  10. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    Ha ha! Sometimes mine are in the fenced in part of my backyard when I let the dogs out. I leave the gate open when I take the dogs in at night so that they can go right back out in the morning when they are put out. The chickens will sqwauk bloody murder until I go to the gate, then they suddenly "remember" how to get out of the yard. :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: